Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Mitt Romney, facing increasingly clear signals that he has no chance whatsoever to secure the GOP nomination for President (because no one likes him) has announced that the US needs to increase defense spending.

That would be Increase. As in "get higher," "grow larger," and all that shit. Wow.

Now, I'm not one to be cynical or anything, but 23 seconds of "research" shows me the following:

Mitt Romney is from Massachesetts.

Raytheon is from Massachesetts.

(And other defense contractors not located in the Commonwealth Mitt calls home have been known to throw a shilling or two in the direction of potentially "friendly" political candidates. From time-to-time.)

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Blogger fridge said...

Seriously, Mitt Romney has the integrity a used car salesman. Nothing is below him.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Dwilkers said...

Individual contributions are capped at $2,000 for any individual* to any candidate for the primary and $2,000 the general.

So unless you think he wants to increase the defense budget in order to get $2k from Ratheon this is pretty silly. Even assuming he gets the entire board of directors and their wives to donate $2k each we're talking a lot less than $100k.

Of course, there may be some 527 out there that's organizing for Romney and accepting million dollar chunks but we don't know about that. Unfortunately due to campaign finance "reform" those donations which used to go directly to the parties are now underground.

Some reform.

Anyway, what Romney is doing is trying to keep McCain from getting to his right on national defense - and McCain is actively campaigning to the right this week on Iraq.

Remember: what you're watching is Dem on Dem and Pub on Pub. These contests are for the party nominations, not the presidency. These guys and gals are competing for the attention of that thin slice of people that vote in primaries in each party and donors (but I repeat myself).

Open Secrets says they'll have 2008 contributions by contributor by April 15th, so in a week we'll be able to see if Ratheon is buying Mitt - or anyone (more likely everyone) else. Very useful site, Open Secrets, save that link if this really interests you.

* a corporation is an individual for the purposes of campaign contributions.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing I know about Mitt is that he has a funny name. He must have gone to a school for pussies, because he woulda got beat up every day at my school.

11:55 AM  
Blogger DED said...

Thanks for sharing the link dwilkers. Much appreciated.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Mitt Romney has the integrity a used car salesman

I call foul. When you leave a used car lot, at least you've got a car. When the last time a politician gave you anything? Let alone a shady politician?

Dwilk - this is pretty silly

Well OF COURSE it is!!! Are you still expecting serious anlysis here???

Anyhow, as you've inplied, I'm sure that corps such as Raytheon find a why to (legally, via loopholes in the law) throw millions to all the candidates, especially those inlcined to help em out.

Same for General Dynamics, Boeing, Halliberton, etc.

Mort - "Mitt" or no "Mitt," I suspect that all these guys caught a lot of knuckle bone on the cheek as lads. These were the presidents of the slide rule club in many cases, and they've spent their adult lives looking to undo that chapter of their lives.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Dwilkers said...

Hey I love this stuff, as I've said before.

Its interesting watching Pubs right now. There's no real right winger. But the primaries are peopled with right wingers. So everyone is trying to slither over a few notches to the right. If you watch right wing sites you know that McCain has been declared all but DOA. Cons don't like McCain, they never have. He's too pro-government reg for them. So he's vulnerable to the right, which is where Romney is trying to tack.

That's why McCain is doubling down on the Iraq war this week. He wants to appeal to the Win in Iraq at Any Cost crowd - mostly national security cons.

OTOH the Dem race is fascinating to me also.

Hillary! is heir apparent, but Obama is threatening her. Can he beat her? My guess is no. Will she offer him the VP after he loses? My guess is yes.

Will he take it? Wow I dunno. I kinda think he should. He's very young and if he keeps his house in order he can be a Dem star for decades.

Then you'd have a Hilly/Obama ticket. First woman, first black. Is that doable? Honestly I'm not sure, its an awful lot to ask people to swallow in one gulp.

If I had to bet I'd bet against that ticket for a few reasons, even in this (war weary) climate.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Rickey Henderson said...

Is Mitt Romney the mormon? If so Rickey's totally voting for him

2:57 PM  
Blogger DED said...

These were the presidents of the slide rule club in many cases

Not likely. Slide rule geeks went on to careers in engineering or science, not politics. These guys wouldn't know a slide rule if it came up and slapped trigonometry in their face. Politicians are typically liberal arts guys who join frats and then go on to law school. Tom Delay is a notable exception.

Unfortunately, I don't have any sources to back up that claim.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow I can't visualize Dubya working a slide rule. Math is hard, makes Dubya's head hurt.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Dwilk - I'm still not convinced Hill wins the nomination. Maybe I'm the only one, but I'm not counting out Edwards.

As to the GOPers, I think someone else emerges in the next year: Brownback, Jeb, Condi, I dunno.

Ded & Mort - Don't get hung up on the "slide rule." I meant it in the bookish nerd sense, not the science geek sense. Substitute Model UN, Student Government, Debate Team, etc if you wish.

Rickey - I think he's a Morman, but who knows with Mitt? He says he's whatever he thinks the constituents wanna hear.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Smitty said...

So unless you think he wants to increase the defense budget in order to get $2k from Ratheon this is pretty silly. Even assuming he gets the entire board of directors and their wives to donate $2k each we're talking a lot less than $100k.

My guess is that Ratheon probably has or is part of a PAC that has much higher giving thresh-holds for giving, I just don't remember what they are on the fed level. I recall on the state level it's upwards of $10k for the state-wide offices (Guv, SoS, AG). And that's just its own PAC money. Ratheon has huge influence and probably, if it's smart, has an option for its employees to contribute directly to its own PAC. This is of course not to mention the other fundraising parties it can hold, whereby each board member hosts his or her own separate fundraiser. From my own experience on the campaign trail, one large corporation can wield massive influence and money, just as any large union can.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Smitty - Glad to hear from someone who has some insider perspective. Because that's my sense of things: those key dozen or so corps (and industry-wide PACs) can throw as much money as they want into an election.

More than one way to skin a cat; more than one way to get dinero to a candidate.

9:09 PM  
Blogger DED said...

Mort: LOL!

Mike: Substitution accepted.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Dwilkers said...

PACs are soooo 1970's. That ain't the way it works anymore, not at the federal level anyway - PAC's are actually a couple of versions of "reform" old. PAC's are contribution limited the same way individuals are, in fact they dilute the power of a contribution.

There's a chart here about halfway down that shows the limits for a PAC.

Nowadays it is 527's - independent (ahem) organizations speaking on behalf of a specific issue. Swiftboat Veterans for Truth anyone? Not a part of the Bush campaign, not specifically campaigning for a candidate. Organized only (ahem) to get the truth out about what happened in Vietnam and John Kerry's service.

527's can raise unlimited amounts of money and contributions are not limited in any way, meaning people like Soros can give $20 milllion per cycle if he chooses. And if you want to know where the money is on this and who's doing it follow that 527 link and scroll down to look at the charts. Dems orgs are in blue and Pubs in pink/red.

Corporations cannot 'encourage' their employees to contribute to campaigns with matching funds. Yeah, every year some genius comes up with the idea and thinks he's the first to have come up with it but you can't, say, tell Roberta to donate $2,000 to Mitt and then you'll give her a $2,500 bonus. That would be illegal and get you on the news. Nor can a corp make gifts like say, meals, or meeting rooms, or transportation, or anything like that. That's all a no-no nowadays.

So the way it works now is like this for example. Hillary! decides to run hard on national health care. Health Care Reformers for Uninsured Children is formed and accepts unlimited campaign cash. They don't advocate for Hillary, they run millions in ads making the pro-national health care case, which, coincidentally, is Hillary!'s main issue. And of course, the main guys behind this group can be rabid Hillary! supporters.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Dwilks -

Thanks for the links/info. Clearly, the names have changed, but the game has not. It's still about buying as many votes as possible to support your agenda.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Dwilkers said...

We were a hell of a lot better off before the Incumbent Protection Act of 2001 (CFR).

Prior to that 'soft money' contributions went directly to the parties, and they were barred from acting on behalf of specific candidates - and the parties actually paid cursory attention to that. However, you knew what you were seeing when you saw a pro-national health care ad that said 'paid for by the DNC' at the bottom, and the parties were required to publish who was contributing monthly so you knew who gave.

Now its all underground to these independent groups with lesser reporting requirements. So even someone like me who is pretty interested in this doesn't know who say "Joint Victory 2004" is.

Plus CFR directly limited purely political speech - it bars direct criticism of candidates by name within 60 days of an election. That is precisely the type of speech the first ammendment was made to protect and that is a big reason cons are so anti-McCain.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Man, your knowledge here is impressive, Dwilk.

I've learned more in the past day just reading your comments & links. I usually stop and cynicism, without bogging myself down with the details.

9:51 AM  

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